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The compleat angler by Izaak Walton

The compleat angler (original 1653; edition 2008)

by Izaak Walton, Charles Cotton

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8571015,878 (3.5)42
Title:The compleat angler
Authors:Izaak Walton
Other authors:Charles Cotton
Info:Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
Collections:Your library

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The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton (1653)



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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
More than I wanted to know about fishing in early modern England.
  ritaer | Sep 20, 2017 |
I know I read it, and certainly I struggled with it at times, and thoroughly enjoyed other bits. I just don't remember it well enough to rate it.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
First of all must come Izaak Walton, who "studied to be quiet" in times almost as troubled as our own. I have him in several editions but I am sure that anyone who does not already know him should make a point of meeting him first in the World's Classics where is John Buchan's admirable introduction to Walton and Cotton together. There are plenty of other editions, but John Buchan makes this my favourite, though I should be sorry to be without the charming brown-leather-jerkined facsimile of the first edition of The Compleat Angler published (a noble act of piety) by A. and C. Black, to whom fishermen owe so much. Here it is, the little brown dumpling of a book just as it slipped modestly into existence, in St. Dunstan's churchyard in Fleet Street in 1653, that critical, stirring year of the Commonwealth, four years after Charle the First had been beheaded, the year of the dissolution of the Long Parliament, six years before the Restoration, and yet a year when Piscator could stretch his legs up Totnam Hill to go fishing by Ware "this fine pleasant fresh May day in the morning".

Arthur Ransome, Fishing (1955), pp. 10-11.
1 vote ArthurRansome | Jun 29, 2014 |
This English classic is known, at least by name, to nearly everyone. Is it a textbook on fishing? Yes, but it is much more than that. Written as a dialog between the Angler and various country folk such as shepherds, farmers and milkmaids, the instructions on catching fish are interspersed with a delightful hodge-podge of rural anecdotes, character studies, moral lessons, recipes, songs and poetry. The practice of angling is portrayed as practically the perfect occupation, teachings as it does the skills of reasoning and observation of Nature together with the virtues of patience and harmony. The second author listed after Walton, Charles Cotton, was his adopted son who was a skilled fisherman in his own right. Cotton wrote the section on fly-fishing as Walton had little knowledge of that area.
1 vote TrysB | Jul 28, 2012 |
Considering this was first published in 1653 the language is fun to stumble over; full of 'methinks,' 'thee,' 'tis,' that sort of thing. At first blush I would have said this is a nonfiction story of three gentlemen walking through the countryside bragging about their respective "hobbies." One man is a falconer, all about the birds. Another man is a hunter, primed for the kill. The third man is, of course, the fisherman, the angler. It is this man we learn the most from (hence the title of the book). There is a great deal more to the story - an 17th century "how-to" on cooking, inn-keeping, religion, poetry and the like, but I got incredibly bored and gave up halfway through.
As a postscript, I did enjoy the illustrations by Boyd Hanna in my undated edition. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Sep 15, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (45 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walton, Izaakprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cotton, Charlesmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Gorsline, DouglasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rackham, ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swann, MarjorieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Simon Peter said, I go a fishing : and they said, We also wil go with thee. John 21. 3.
To the right worshipful John Offley, esq., of Madeley Manor, in the county of Staffordshire
First words
PISCATOR. You are well overtaken, gentlemen, a good morning to you both; I have stretched my legs up Tottenham Hill to overtake you, hoping your business may occasion you towards Ware, whither I am going this fine, fresh May morning.
My purpose is to drink my morning's draught at the Thatched House in Hoddesdon ... I shall by your favour bear you company as far as Theobalds. ... Tomorrow morning we shall meet a pack of Otter-dogs of noble Mr. Sadler's upon Amwell Hill.
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The first part by Izaak Walton, 1653. The second part by Charles Cotton, 1678.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375751483, Paperback)

For a book to stay in print for nearly 350 years, its merits must continually entice and allure. The Compleat Angler satisfies that on two counts. On the most obvious level, it remains as good a primer on fishing as any angler would want. But its most enduring distinction--what's raised an essential sporting how-to to the level of literary classic--is the one cast off by its subtitle; Izaak Walton's sometimes convoluted 17th-century grammar can still reel in our imaginations with his graceful evocations of a life free from hurly-burly in the company of friends intent on physical and moral sustenance. "He that hopes to be a good Angler must not only bring an inquiring, searching, observing wit," suggests the master, "but he must bring a large measure of hope and patience.... Doubt not but Angling will prove to be so pleasant, that it will prove to be like a virtue, a reward to itself." Just like Walton's magnificent literary catch.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:26 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

First published in 1653, 'The Compleat Angler' is a celebration of the art and spirit of fishing combining verse, song and folklore, moral reflections, and timeless wisdom.

(summary from another edition)

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